Effective Lesson Planning

Backwards Model and the Traditional Model

An Effective Lesson Plan

The first thing that is important to remember when creating a lesson plan is the objective of the lesson. What are you wanting the students to learn and take away from this lesson. Once you have figured that part out the rest of the planning should be easier. If you create a lesson plan with no objective there is no point in teaching this lesson and the students see it as there is no point to learning the lesson. A great example of an objective would be: Students will use whiteboards to spell out 10 vocabulary words that are in the text of this weeks story. This clearly states what students will do, why they are doing it, and how they are doing it.

Pitfalls of the Traditional Model

When I look at the traditional model of lesson planning I see that you have to complete every step before you realize why you are learning something. Many times students forget that there is an end in sight and lose their focus in the lesson. The backwards model is a great way to handle this. Teachers will start with the "why" to begin with. No matter what model you choose Common Core State Standards are great because they are an awesome outline of lesson planning. They keep us teachers on track with the lesson planning.

Traditional vs. Backwards

My Backwards Lesson


End Result: Students will be able to identify the difference between warm blooded and cold blooded animals.

Assessment: Students will be shown flash cards of animals and they will answer on a whiteboard whether the animal is warm blooded or cold blooded.

Activity: Students will pair into groups of three and given a list of animals. Students will use books, computers, and pictures to identify what animals are warm blooded and cold blooded and what characteristics each group has.


Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.